Ford Will Let You Return Your New Car If You Lose Your Job in the Next Year

Consider it more of a safety net, rather than an excuse to buy a new ride during uncertain times.

byJames Gilboy|
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The United States of America may be open for business once again, but if our consistent rate of new COVID-19 cases means anything, it's that we're far from being out of the woods. Our economy may face another wave of job losses, and those who let juicy financing deals rope them into a new car could find themselves with five figures of debt and weak employment prospects. It's an ugly situation to face, but it's one car buyers can partially avoid if they shop Ford, which just announced it'll let customers return their vehicles if they lose their jobs within a year of purchase.

Available to customers who finance their purchases or leases through Ford Credit, this "Ford Promise" scheme offers laid-off buyers of 2019 though 2021 models the freedom to return their vehicles and forego up to $15,000 of the vehicle's NADA-appraised trade-in value—minus deferred or late payments or any damage fees. This coverage doesn't apply for commercial sales, and only activates one month after vehicle purchase, so today isn't the day to let your boss know how you feel about their mask apathy.

Ford hopes that the 32 percent of car shoppers hesitant to commit to a new car (per Cox Automotive) into signing by September 30, when Ford Promise enrollment ends. A Ford spokesperson confirmed to The Drive that enrollment started on June 26, meaning a small number buyers will retroactively receive the guarantee.

Ford effectively gets a sweet deal on a lightly used late-model vehicle, which offers dealers some of the tallest profit margins in the biz. Additionally, buyers who do return their vehicles under Ford Promise will still be on the hook for any remaining balance, meaning someone who owes $35,000 on a truck still owes $20,000 (minus what they've already paid, of course, and considering the truck appraises for said amount). It'll be a welcome financial parachute to those who need it, but if you have concerns about your job's stability (and if your profession wasn't deemed essential this past spring) consider waiting to make a large purchase.

The way we see it, this is a nice safety net you hope to never have to fall back on, but you should most definitely not make a purchase thinking "you're covered anyway."

As the saying goes, an ounce of preventative is worth a pound of cure.

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